by Pamela Nathan
Hunter states, “…developmental adversity is the main contributor to the poor health status of indigenous Australians…”. He talks about his work as a psychiatrist largely mitigating the downstream consequences, be it psychosis, depression, interpersonal violence, self harm, alcohol abuse and chronic disease”.
He notes the cause for optimism when Abbot was elected, as he referred to himself as, “the prime minister for indigenous affairs”. On this basis Hunter says it is surprising and detrimental to hear rumours that the Coalition’s political and financial investment is likely to be reduced as Aboriginal Australians may be asked to share the pain of national economic recovery.
He concludes, “these two issues, developmental determinants and opportunities, and assertive political leadership, are linked”. He wants to believe that the commitment made by Abbott is sincere and that it will take long term effort and broad support.
There is no doubt that developmental adversity requires socio-economic equity and equity in pregnancy and early childhood health and social outcomes. There is no doubt that psychological developmental adversity requires time and resources and recognition to change to psychological health. Let’s not have financial cuts. Let’s have an injection of funds.
Let’s hope Abbot stays true to his word.